Group Private Lesson
Home Up

 

Written by Rick Archer
August 2002
Updated 2010


QuestionI am inquiring about private group lessons. 

I saw that private lessons are available. However, we have a group of about 10 people who are interested in taking a class together.  They would rather not attend the regular classes due to schedule constraints, partners, and such.  If a group lesson is possible, please contact me.  Thank you.  Helga Robinson

05-03-2002

Answer:  There are four kinds of "Group Private Lessons". 

1. Ongoing Group Private Lessons outside the studio, i.e. at a Church.
Contact Rick Archer
dance@ssqq.com  Price depends on the nature of the event.

2. One-Time Only Group Private Lessons outside the studio.
Contact Rick Archer
dance@ssqq.com  Price depends on the nature of the event.

3. One-Time Only Group Private Lessons at the studio. 
Contact Rick Archer dance@ssqq.com  $100 for the first hour. Optional second hour $50 for groups of 25 people or less. $100 for the second hour if the group is above 25.

4. Ongoing Group Private Lessons at the studio. 
We highly discourage this idea.  Nor do we allow them!!

W
e can take up to 4 people in a private lesson, but that is the limit. 

Private/Group classes have been a source of much misery over the years both to our Staff and to the poor
thankless person who tries to organize them  (that means You, the person brave enough to be looking at this web page!)


Here is a list of the problems you will face:

  • 1.  Just for starters, busy people have tremendous difficulty coordinating their schedules for a lesson.  Professionals are constantly at the mercy of their jobs.  And if they have children, it becomes an even greater nightmare to find time in common.
  • 2. 10 people is a HUGE number to coordinate.  Even in this age of email you will be going around and around in circles.  Very few people in our busy society have much free time as it is and finding a time that will work with 20 people is a near-miracle.
  • 3.  Most people prefer time slots that are already taken up by our regular group classes.  7-9 pm is out because we have group classes at our studio.  Saturday mornings and afternoons, Sunday afternoons or some evening at 6 pm is your best bet if you intend to do it here at SSQQ.  How does Saturday at 11 am sound on a regular basis?  And even if the adults agree on Saturday at 11 am, if kids are involved, then you have to worry about Junior's soccer practice or Sissy's play rehearsal at school.
  • 4.  It is extremely difficult to coordinate the skill and experience level of all the individuals.
  • 5.  When one couple misses, there are no make-ups or parallel classes to attend.  This couple either drops out or slows down the class on the next visit while the instructor spends extra time catching them up while the other members of the class twiddle their thumbs with boredom.
  • 6.  Finding the times to practice are extremely difficult after private lessons.  Some people practice, others don't - and the following week the difference shows.  Often the practice never occurs at all.  People start to get left behind or the ones who practice are penalized with boredom as they wait for the others to catch up.
  • 7.  People change their minds all the time.  Get ready for another round of emails/phone calls only to find the instructor isn't available at the new time.
  • 8.  And I haven't even begun to discuss money issues, the root of all evil.  Imagine how embarrassing it is to ask all these people for money.  Who enjoys collecting money?


    Conclusion.

    I am sorry to be so pessimistic, but I have encountered legendary headaches over the years.  This is a road to Misery paved with good intentions.  Save yourself while you still can.  Don't do it.

    Suggestion - Pick one of our regular group classes and get a group discount so you can show your friends you were trying as promised.  You will save yourself a lot of misery.  Or find one other couple and do the 4-people private lessons together.


February 2005:  A REAL-LIFE EVENT EERILY PARALLELS THE FOLLOWING AXIOM:

"EXPERIENCE IS A COMB THAT LIFE THROWS YOU AFTER YOU HAVE ALREADY LOST YOUR HAIR TRYING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM."

So you are foolish enough to still think you want to organize a group dance class and you have read this far.  Read this nightmare and see if you have any enthusiasm left at the end of the story.


EMAIL ONE

-----Original Message-----
From: Nisha G
Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2005 9:58 PM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: inquiries about a private lesson

Hello-  A group of my friends and I were interested in taking some beginner salsa lessons, however, we would prefer to have a private session rather than a regularly scheduled open class. I recently called Linda Cook to ask her if such a lesson was available, and she told me to email Rick Archer for permission.

There will be a pretty sizable group, tentatively about 10-20 people, both boys and girls. We would like to come on a Saturday afternoon, around 12 or 1, for a lesson of an hour or two. I am not sure how long a standard salsa lesson is- 1 hour may be too little, but 2 hours may be overwhelming because none of us have any dance experience at all. We are open to which weekends work for you or are more convenient. If we enjoy the first lesson, we will most likely want to take more lessons! Can you please help me in scheduling this session for us?

Thank you very much. Nisha G


EMAIL TWO
From: "Rick Archer"
To: "Nisha G
Subject: RE: inquiries about a private lesson
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2005 09:29:03 -0600

We do not offer "Group" private lessons. It is against company policy.

I am sorry.

If you wish to move faster, please consider Private Lessons. Private lessons can hold 4 people at a time.
Rick Archer


EMAIL THREE
-----Original Message-----
From: Nisha G
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2005 10:48 PM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: RE: inquiries about a private lesson

are there any other non-private options i can pursue, or do you have a referral for a place that offers such lessons? Thanks- Nisha G


EMAIL FOUR
From: "Rick Archer"
To: "Nisha G
Subject: RE: inquiries about a group private lesson
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2005 06:53:19 -0600


Nisha, here at SSQQ dance lessons are conducted on a private basis and on a group basis.

There is such a thing as a "group" private lesson, but we have a history of problems with them which explains our reluctance to go down that path again.

We have found that whenever you have a group of people, the easier solution is to get a "group discount" and let them take a group class together. This solves the problem of make-up classes.

For example I have a group of 30 people from Chapelwood Church this month. They are spread out across the studio taking whichever class they wish to take on whatever night they wish to come. They are attending at a discount because of their size. I have another group from Lakewood Church doing the exact same thing.

Before I can figure out how to help you, I need to better understand your unique request.  If I am to make an exception, I need a solid reason to do so.

Why is it important to you that your group be "private"?  What is the nature of your "group"?  What is your objection to having your "group" take a regular group class?

Why would your group be happier in isolation?  Rick Archer


EMAIL FIVE
-----Original Message-----
From: Nisha G
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 11:10 PM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: RE: inquiries about a group private lesson

Our group consists of teenagers ages 17-18, boys and girls. We do not necessarily want isolation and we are willing to work, but we are a little nervous about dancing with other people. We are all have a VERY beginner status (none of us have danced before), and we are slightly worried about dancing in front of a lot of people we don't know, at least at the beginning. When we start to get more comfortable we might consider the regular classes. We're also very apprehensive about dancing with people we don't know since most of us are nervous to begin with and are slightly awkward dancers.

We are all going on a cruise in March together, which is part of the reason we want to learn to dance so we can show our skills off on our trip! We wanted to have this group experience and be able to be ourselves without worrying about getting in other people's way. However, I understand if you cannot make this exception. I am not sure what problems you have had in the past with large groups, but we are a reliable group of kids- I promise!

Although I cannot guarantee that we will necessarily take LOTS of classes together (we are not really looking to become experts), this is something we all really want to do.

We all go to St. John's School and we are not too rowdy or rough- we just want to learn to dance and have fun!
Thanks again, Nisha


EMAIL SIX
From: "Rick Archer"
To: "Nisha G
Subject: RE: inquiries about a group private lesson
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 05:58:49 -0600

I am a Saint Johns graduate, class of 68. I will be happy to make an exception and I will also be happy to teach the class.

Dancing on Cruises is an ssqq specialty. 
http://ssqq.com/information/rhapsody2004story05.htm
Read: Dancing Aboard the Rhapsody).

I can show your group exactly what they need to learn.

A Saturday afternoon at 12 would be fine. I would charge $100 for an hour, $150 for two hours.


EMAIL SEVEN
 -----Original Message-----
From: Nisha G
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 11:06 PM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: RE: inquiries about a group private lesson

great! thank you so much!

i will talk to the other kids in the group and email you back with a convenient date!

Nisha


TWO WEEKS LATER - EMAIL EIGHT
-----Original Message-----
From: Nisha G
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 6:48 PM
To:
dance@ssqq.com
Subject: RE: inquiries about a group private lesson

Sorry it took me so long to reply, I was working on getting a date that worked for most of the people that wanted to do the dance lessons.

Would it be ok to schedule a class on the 26th (a Sunday) for two hours, from 1-3? If that doesn't work, 12-2 is fine, or the same time on the 19th, though the 19th is less favorable. There are about 15-18 of us coming.
Thank you very much! Nisha


EMAIL NINE (first message)
From: "Rick Archer"
To: "Nisha G
Subject: RE: inquiries about a group private lesson
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005 11:40:42 -0600

Sunday, February 26th, 1-3 pm, at ssqq dance studio it is.

I look forward to teaching your group! You can add as many as you wish. By the way, group classes are VERY difficult to organize. I am sure you are working hard trying to coordinate everyone's busy schedules.

The charge will be $150. please make check payable to SSQQ Dance Studio.
Let me know if you have any questions.  Rick Archer


EMAIL TEN (second message 3 minutes later)
-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 11:43 AM
To: Nisha G
Subject: RE: inquiries about a group private lesson

I just took a quick look at my calendar. I think you made a small mistake on the date.

Did you want Saturday the 26th of February or Sunday the 27th of February?

Either one is fine although I prefer the Sunday over the Saturday.


EMAIL ELEVEN
 -----Original Message-----
From: Nisha G
Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 4:40 PM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: RE: inquiries about a group private lesson

Great! Thank you so much! I did make a mistake- I meant Sunday the 27th, not the 26th. We are all looking forward to it very much!  Nisha


EMAIL TWELVE
From: "Rick Archer"
To: "Nisha Gadgil"
Subject: RE: inquiries about a group private lesson
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2005 09:17:45

Good. Sunday is better for me too. I will see you on Sunday the 27th at 1 pm. Rick Archer


EMAIL THIRTEEN
 -----Original Message-----
From: Nisha G
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 6:18 PM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: RE: inquiries about a group private lesson

I am so sorry to do this to you, but I realized that I had told all my friends the 26th, thinking that was a Sunday, when it was actually a Saturday. It turns out that half the people wanting to do the lessons have play rehearsals on Sunday. Do you think it would be possible to do it on that Saturday the 26th, and if not the 26th, the following Saturday? I am so sorry about this, it was a big goof-up on my part and I looked on the calendar wrong, but I am hoping this can still work.

Many apologies Nisha


EMAIL FOURTEEN
From: "Rick Archer"
To: "Nisha G
Subject: RE: inquiries about a group private lesson
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2005 11:43:38 -0600

Let's push it back a week and meet on Saturday, March 5, from 1 pm to 3 pm. Rick Archer


EMAIL FIFTEEN
-----Original Message-----
From: Nisha G
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 8:16 PM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: RE: inquiries about a group private lesson

I have realized that weekends aren't working- after emailing my friends TONS of times to try to figure out a date, i have realized that there are too many rehearsals, sporting events, orchestras, choirs, etc. that involve large numbers of groups (not just a couple of people here and there).

After exhausting many options, I wanted to propose maybe doing the lesson on a Friday evening? All of our rehearsals and practices will be over by 6 or 6:30 ish, so a one or two hour bloc after that time would be perfect on pretty much any Friday convenient for you.

St. John's students are way too busy for their own good, and this is the only time that seems to be free for most people! I am SO sorry to drag you in the middle of all of this confusion and I am sure that this is probably one of the reasons you are reluctant to do group lessons. I am really sorry, I had definitely not anticipated it being this complicated.

Thanks again- Nisha


EMAIL SIXTEEN
-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 9:37 AM
To: Nisha G
Subject: RE: inquiries about a group private lesson

You are a good soul, Nisha, but I have to say I warned you about the difficulties of organizing a large group.

My studio has regular classes at the Friday time you propose.  The only time the studio is available is on the weekends before 430 pm.

I suggest this: now that you have talked to a million people, find the best time for the most people on Saturday or Sunday btw noon and 430, choose the time and date, then stick to it.

I am very sorry for what seems to be a miserable experience for you. Good luck. Until I hear from you, I will cancel the event on Saturday March 5.   

Rick Archer
.................


POSTSCRIPT: I never heard from Nisha again. I wasn't angry with her at all, but I will admit to a certain "weariness". I predicted the difficulty of the young lady's task, but like any old fool thought maybe she would be the whiz to pull it off.

Nisha had to learn her lesson the hard way.  If your mind is dizzy from following the trail of sixteen emails, imagine how many emails Nisha had to keep track of while she tried to please everyone while organizing her entire class at St. Johns!   My estimate is several hundred emails minimum.

The number of electrons wasted on this event is too staggering to conceive.

Let me say this again: It is incredibly time-consuming and highly frustrating to organize a large group to take a private group dance lesson.  The world is very busy and much too complicated.

In retrospect, she might have pulled it off if she had gotten permission to have the dance class on the St. Johns campus. Then Friday nights might have worked.

I offer the Nisha incident above strictly as a word to the wise. She meant well; she just didn't know what she was getting herself into.

 
SSQQ Front Page Parties/Calendar Jokes
SSQQ Information Schedule of Classes Writeups
SSQQ Archive Newsletter History of SSQQ